Research Papers

Testing of a Noninvasive Probe for Measurement of Blood Perfusion

[+] Author and Article Information
Paul S. Robinson, Thomas E. Diller

 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060

Elaine P. Scott

Department of Engineering,Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA 98119

J. Med. Devices 2(1), 011001 (Mar 07, 2008) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2884190 History: Received October 20, 2006; Revised November 14, 2007; Published March 07, 2008

Parameter estimation techniques have been utilized in the development of a methodology to noninvasively measure blood perfusion using a new thermal surface probe. The core of this probe is comprised of a small, lightweight heat flux sensor that is placed in contact with tissue and provides time-resolved signals of heat flux and surface temperature while the probe is cooled by air jets. Parameter estimation techniques were developed that incorporate heat flux and temperature data with calculated data from a biothermal model of the tissue and probe. The technique simultaneously estimates blood perfusion and thermal contact resistance between the probe and tissue. Validation of this concept was carried out by experimentation with controlled flow through nonbiological porous media. Warm water was circulated through a fine pore sponge to provide a phantom model for blood perfusion through biological tissue. The parameter estimation technique was applied to measurements taken over a range of flow rates. Heat flux and temperature measurements and the resulting perfusion estimates correlated well with the experimentally imposed perfusion rate. This research helps establish the validity of using this method to develop a practical, noninvasive probe to clinically measure blood perfusion.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Illustration of probe in contact with porous media

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Figure 2

Numerical model of gage and porous media

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Figure 3

Experimental system for perfusion testing

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Figure 4

Schematic of the flow field in the phantom

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Figure 5

Comparison of typical experimental and calculated heat flux

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Figure 6

Mean values of estimated contact resistance

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Figure 7

Mean values of estimated perfusion




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